Advertisements for Ellie Goulding’s alcohol brand have been banned from Facebook, after they claimed the drink is ‘low in calories and contains no sugar.’
The English pop star, 35, who is a founder and co-owner of Served Drinks, posted two ads for the alcoholic sparkling water in February, but they have since been removed after sparking complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.
In a statement the ASA noted that they ruled the ads should be banned after concluding the ads contained nutritional claims about the products’ low calorie count and sugar content, which are not ‘permitted for alcoholic drinks.’
Removed: Advertisements for Ellie Goulding’s alcohol brand have been banned from Facebook, after they claimed the drink is ‘low in calories and contains no sugar’
Ellie’s first post including an image of herself enjoying the sparkling water, adding: ‘If you’re like me, you love a drink but also enjoy an active lifestyle. My delicious alcoholic sparkling water is the best of both worlds.’
Her second post read: ‘You guys know I love a drink, but I also really care about my well-being. Since I launched my alcoholic sparkling water there is no going back for me!’
A video of Goulding showed her saying: ‘I love a drink, as I talk about a lot on my social media, but I also care about my health … That’s why I want to tell you about my new drink Served. So, my new drink Served is a hard seltzer, it has 57 calories…’
Further text in the posts stated: ’57 cals … 4% vol.’
Pulled: The pop star posted two ads for the alcoholic sparkling water in February, but they have since been removed after sparking complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority
A separate email from Served Drinks, seen on January 18, read: ‘Forget Dry January … Is dry January becoming a little dry? There’s no reason you can’t enjoy a drink without setting you back! Our drinks only have 57 calories, 0g sugar and are 4% ABV and are the perfect choice for a tipple without all the guilt.’
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 21 complaints about the brand’s advertising, including that the calorie and sugar content statements were nutritional claims that are not permitted for alcoholic drinks.
The complaints also noted that Ellie’s general health claims, detailing she enjoyed a boozy beverage while maintaining an active lifestyle, are not allowed for drinks containing alcohol.
Conclusion: In a statement the ASA noted that they ruled the ads should be banned after concluding the ads contained nutritional claims which are not ‘permitted for alcoholic drinks’
Other complaints also noted that the advert suggested that drinking alcohol might be indispensable and could overcome boredom by encouraging people to break Dry January.
Served Drinks said it understood that advertisers are allowed to provide factual information about the nutritional content of their products, including the calorific content, provided there is no suggestion that the drink has the particular beneficial property of being low in calories.
They added the posts on Goulding’s Facebook page were intended to describe her lifestyle and what is important to her and could not reasonably be interpreted as being about the product itself, and were therefore not general health claims.
Pop star: In her first post promoting her brand, Ellie said: ‘I love a drink, as I talk about a lot on my social media, but I also care about my health’
In a statement, the ASA said: ‘Because the ads included nutrition claims that the product was low in calories and contained no sugar, which were not permitted nutrition claims for alcohol products, we concluded that they breached the Code.’
It ruled that the three ads must not appear again in their current form, adding: ‘We told Served Drinks not to make health claims, or non-permitted nutrition claims, about alcoholic drinks or imply that alcohol could overcome boredom in their advertising.’
Served Drinks said: ‘We are committed to responsible advertising, and we work closely with organisations such as CAP (the Committee of Advertising Practice) in the development of campaign materials.
‘While we are disappointed that the complaints were upheld in part, we respect the ASA’s ruling. All ads were removed immediately and will not feature again.’
Going strong: Goulding and husband Caspar Jopling, shown in March in London, got married in August 2019 at York Minster and share son Arthur, 14 months